San Diego County in southern California holds one of the United States Marine Corps’ largest bases, Camp Pendleton. It is the major West Coast base and serves to train expeditionary forces and is a prime amphibious training base. It was established in 1942 to train marines for combat in World War II and soon became a permanent installation. A new chapter has now been written in the camp’s rich history of training America’s elite warriors. Camp Pendleton is now a producer of renewable energy.
Partnering with Kyocera Solar, Inc, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest announced the completion of a 1.4 megawatt solar system. The system comprises 6,300 KD235 modules produced by Kyocera’s San Diego facility. It is the largest solar installation at a Marine Corps base and one of the largest in all of San Diego County.
The site chosen to construct the solar system was a former waste facility, the Box Canyon landfill. An unusable waste land was thus converted into a site that produces clean energy for the base. The 225 solar panels were installed by San Diego-based Synergy Electric Company in conjunction with AEE Solar.
Design of the project was led by AECOM, one of the world’s largest engineering firms. They effectively designed aspects of geotechnical, civil, and photovoltaic systems. “AECOM incorporated numerous design elements to address the unique environmental and engineering challenges of the landfill site,” said AECOM Project Manager David Cyr. “We are proud to have contributed to the success of this significant project.”
The system is expected to produce 2,400 megawatt-hours annually which could supply power to up to 400 homes. According to NAVFAC, the anticipated savings to Camp Pendleton’s power bill is about $336,000 per year. “The Box Canyon PV project is a very exciting venture that is making use of a previously unusable piece of real estate, and providing a renewable energy source to help Camp Pendleton meet its on-site renewable energy generation goals,” said Bernadette Rose, NAVFAC Southwest ROICC Construction Manager at Camp Pendleton.
This is another indicator of the increased demand for solar energy. Sunny southern California is well positioned to be a leader in this green technology. To meet the new demand, Kyocera began manufacturing solar panels at its San Diego production facility in June 2010. “This sizable solar installation and the Marine Corps’ sustainable energy goals demonstrate its commitment to environmental preservation and advancing national security through energy independence,” stated Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc.
Article by David A Gabel, appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.